Juice Buckets Arrive Today!

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vinny

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I have 3 juice buckets that are arriving this afternoon. I want to dose with K-meta and use my own yeast choice.

Two questions;

Is it wild yeast that starts the fermentation or is the juice inoculated with a specific strain by the manufacturer?

How much K-meta should I dose them with?
 
Exciting! I don't have answers about the yeast, but the directions my LHBS emailed with my order said the following:

Step 1 – Once you get your pail home, open the lid and stir in a solution consisting of 4 tsp
Bentonite in 1 1/3 cups warm water with a sanitized spoon. Be sure to stir the bottom of the
pail as well to mix up the yeast that has settled.

*Advanced Option – If you would like to add your own yeast strain to your pail, stir in a
solution of ¼ tsp Potassium Metabisulphite in ½ cup cool water to the pail to kill the
existing yeast and wait 24-36 hours before pitching your desired yeast strain and
proceeding.


I ended up stirring in the Bentonite in the fermenter before I siphoned and then poured from the juice pail into my 7.9 gallon fermenter, and added 1/4 tsp kmeta during the transfer between buckets. I'm really happy I did that, because even the 7.9 gallon fermenter wasn't quite big enough for the Renaissance Avante yeast and I got a bit of overflow for a few hours.

If you want the full instructions my LHBS sends, DM me your email addy and I can send the PDF.

Edited to add pix:
 

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Exciting! I don't have answers about the yeast, but the directions my LHBS emailed with my order said the following:

Step 1 – Once you get your pail home, open the lid and stir in a solution consisting of 4 tsp
Bentonite in 1 1/3 cups warm water with a sanitized spoon. Be sure to stir the bottom of the
pail as well to mix up the yeast that has settled.

*Advanced Option – If you would like to add your own yeast strain to your pail, stir in a
solution of ¼ tsp Potassium Metabisulphite in ½ cup cool water to the pail to kill the
existing yeast and wait 24-36 hours before pitching your desired yeast strain and
proceeding.


I ended up stirring in the Bentonite in the fermenter before I siphoned and then poured from the juice pail into my 7.9 gallon fermenter, and added 1/4 tsp kmeta during the transfer between buckets. I'm really happy I did that, because even the 7.9 gallon fermenter wasn't quite big enough for the Renaissance Avante yeast and I got a bit of overflow for a few hours.

If you want the full instructions my LHBS sends, DM me your email addy and I can send the PDF.
Thanks Joni.

I assumed I was getting buckets of juice and nothing more. I will reach out if I don't get any instructions, but I feel pretty confident in your synopsis!

And yes, very exciting!
 
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I think my Renaissance Avante yeast did take over my Barbera juice bucket as I wished. I say that because it's the first time I've had that kind of serious overflow from fermenting, and @CDrew , who recommended the yeast, said it sounds like his experience with Avante yeast.

It sure smelled delicious while it was fermenting, different than EC-1118, although the only other Barbera I have done was a FWK with RC-212 yeast so I'm not an expert on Barbera fermentation smells.
 
I just picked these up and they are nearing room temperature. I found instructions online and they say that every pail is already inoculated with a chosen yeast. Could be 1118, could be something better.

I have opened the top of the pain only, and added K-meta. I tightened down the lids assuming that if they kick off I will have early signs (bloating). I will likely use my own yeast either way and let them duke it out. At least that way if it is 1118, I should get more varietal notes than without the effort.

Either way the juice tastes better than my highest end kit, so I have high hopes.

I think I will likely oak in secondary.. Any thoughts on sacrificial oak? Depending on activity I will take some readings later tonight or tomorrow morning.
 
I think sacrificial oak is a good thing in juice buckets. it won't provide any "oakiness" but will provide some tannins that can help with color retention. Also, you should probably measure the ph and Ta of these juices. I recall Chilean Grapes to be adequate ph, but very low in the Ta department, but that's a memory thing and well, sometimes it makes stuff up for me.
 
Ph is 3.5-3.6 across the board.

I can't do TA without going shopping first. Worth picking up a kit?

If you don't have a kit, do a bench trial. 100 ml of must, 10 samples add some acid (tartaric) to each one, different amounts, but known. Which tastes best? They will all be sweet, but one will be better.
 
Is it wild yeast that starts the fermentation or is the juice inoculated with a specific strain by the manufacturer?
How much K-meta should I dose them with?
The buckets which SunPrairie orders do not have yeast added intentionally. Normally growth is not evident, but 2% of the buckets may have experienced enough temperature to have some growth.

I dose everything with 0.2gram Kmeta per US gallon.
 
Petit Verdot was showing activity within a few hours. I couldn't get an accurate SG reading, the CO2 was bobbing the hydrometer, unless it is really up there. I was reading 1.102 - 1.106. Not likely!

I got some must in the starter a few hours ago, transferred to primary and currently letting them duke it out.

The others were 1.096 and 1.090. I intend to transfer and pitch in the morning. Gotta run to town for my skins.. So I will add those in the afternoon
 
So these ended up taking off on their own even with K-meta. I woke up and the other two were bulging the lids so I transferred to my primary pails and added my starters.

I have no idea what yeasts were used, but there are different foaming and activity characteristics so I am sure they are all different.How mine will compete I have no idea, but they are very active!

I had to rack off a gallon this morning. With the skins I had no room for stirring or submerging the skin bag. The pinotage was foaming and I actually got a notable amount on the floor.
PXL_20230608_171351189.jpg
I have added in a cooling system.. 😆 It actually works! My well water is COLD all year round and a handful of ice in each bagkeeps everything from spiking.
PXL_20230608_173817484.jpg
 
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I am going to seal these up today and leave them for a couple of weeks to extract more form the skins. Both the Petit Verdot and the Pinotage had skins and I left the Carmenere without. Both with skins are more to my tastes, but the Pinotage is the clear winner so far. Bright berry and fruit forward it is a really nice tasting wine, and we are at day 5 with heavy yeast flavor. I am excited to see where it is going to go!
 

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